The Gamer Assembly to speak at PAXEast 2013

PAXEast is storming the Boston Convention and Exposition Center, March 22-24. We’ll be there and we’re running two panels for your listening and question asking enjoyment.

Worldbuilding 101 

Tentative: Friday, March 22nd at 3:00pm in our Tabletop theatre

Our panel of experienced designers, editors, artists, and trained nerds talk about their experiences working on both personal and company-owned settings including the Midgard, Experiment073, and 3 Generations After the End. Topics include finding where to start, working with other creators, reinterpreting existing work, and knowing when to stop creating.

Panelists include: Brian Liberge [Game Designer, Freelance], Jim White [Editor/Writer/Designer, Freelance], Kaitlynn Peavler [Artist, Freelance], Casey Peavler [Nerd], Art Vaccarino [Nerd]
Tabletop System Wars 
Tentative: Saturday, March 23rd at 4:30pm in our Tabletop theatre
You’re thinking about your next RPG. How will you decide which system is Fated to carry your next campaign idea into the Marvelous realm of Godlike gaming experiences? Will your Travellers be HEROs or ride Lady Blackbird to Apocalypse World? Will your Shadowrunners survive their Fiasco and become Role Masters, or will your Pathfinders scatter into a Diaspora among the Stars Without Number? Does your Dungeon need Dragons, Crawling Classics, or Worlds to explore? That’s where we come in. Our team of designers, editors, and nerds will brainstorm, suggest, and debate until you’ve got the system that fits for you. Bring your ideas, we’ll bring the nerd rage.
Panelists include: Brian Liberge [Game Designer, Freelance], Jim White [RPG Editor/Writer/Designer, Freelance], Casey Peavler [Nerd], Tresi Arvizo [Nerd], Bob Smith [Nerd], Art Vaccarino [Nerd]

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Nigh-Weekly Assembly: Links During Sandy

Greetings! It’s been a while, and with Sandy romping across the eastern half of the US last night, that got me to thinking that we probably have enough links to share. I hope the linked Kickstarters haven’t expired yet – there are some good ones in there. Here’s hoping you and yours are safe. Enjoy!

At Home

Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.

Away

Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.

Product Announcements

New products and special events announced this week.

  • d20Monkey: First Edition by Brian Patterson at Kickstarter: The first year of the webcomic d20 Monkey is being cleaned up, reformatted, and published in book form. Throw in 40 pages of bonus content and a one-of-a-kind Boner Fairy plush doll and it becomes hard to pass up.

Notes From Abroad

Other interesting articles and cool links.

  • Bildwirkerey von Bayeux: A historic tale construction kit. Create your own medieval storytelling art using drag-and-drop images from the Bayeux Tapestry. Very cool little generator.
  • Muddy Colors: 10 Things… About Talent: Originally written to describe the author’s experience with oil painting, this article exposes talent as a myth. If you want to do something like, say, write RPGs, then act like you can do it and learn from every experience you have. Fabricate your own talent.
  • Discussion About Discomfort Mechanics at Google+: Here’s an interesting discussion about how instituting systems to prevent discomfort at the table can backfire by people assuming that the group doesn’t trust anyone to act like an adult.
  • Raising the Bar at Room 209 Gaming: A look at the assumptions around having the party meet in a tavern and how those assumptions limit player choice before the game even begins. Collaborative character creation, such as the system in Infinite Earths, does wonders to avoid this cliche.
  • Armor by Class at Untimately: Here’s a simple system that makes class skill just as important as equipment when wearing armor in OSR games. Thieves can wear Plate, but Fighters will get much more of a benefit from it.
  • Be A Better Player at Truly Rural: A series of articles designed to teach ways to be a better player and increase your usefulness at the game table.
  • An Inspiring Ms. Marvel: A great memory about posing for pictures with a little girl while cosplaying as her favorite hero Ms. Marvel.

MetaRoundup

A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!

  • Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in the News series of articles on Sundays, collected under the News category. This Week in the News features using real-life monsters in your game, an article on Zombie LARP for The Guardian, and a few misconceptions about diversity in gaming.
  • Intwischa publishes a collection of links for the week every Monday. Take a look at Links for the Week of October 22 to find maps of both geography and information, using plot ideas like ingredients for your campaign recipe, and managing the tension between PC freedom and party plot progression.

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The Nigh-Weekly Assembly: On Networking and Playing Well

Longest September ever, so it’s been a little sparse around here lately. Take a look at the links we’ve found, and please let us know if we missed anything. Enjoy!

At Home

Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.

Away

Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.

Product Announcements

New products and special events announced this week.

Notes From Abroad

Other interesting articles and cool links.

  • The Fish Tank as a Mystery at Gnome Stew: Think of a situation as a stable aquarium filled with piranhas, then toss the PCs in and watch the water churn. Then use this five-step process to generate adventures around mysteries.
  • Playing with good intent at Deeper in the Game: Everyone at the table needs to want to play the same game. Problem players intend to play a different game when they sit at a table, whether it’s finding fault with the rules to prove how clever they are or fighting for social dominance with the rest of the players.
  • Trade Goods at Telecanter’s Receding Rules: Need to figure out what the caravan is hauling when the party hires on as guards and starts asking questions? Roll on this fantasy-themed table of trade goods and prepare to figure out how heavy a barrel of honey is.
  • The Case For Maps And Minis at RPG Musings: Use maps and minis to augment your imagination and keep track of what’s happening in your game, especially for players who need something visual to connect with the imaginary action.

MetaRoundup

A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!

  • Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in Gaming and This Week in Feminism series of articles on Sundays. Both series are collected under the News category. This Week in Gaming features an interview with one of RinCon’s coordinators, a plug for Roll20, and changing how plyaers use technology in tabletop games.
  • Intwischa publishes a collection of links for the week every Tuesday. Take a look at Links for the Week of October 2 to find a series of articles on megadungeons, struggles with power and balance, and ending your campaign before it drags on and goes stale.

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Nigh-Weekly Assembly: On Metagaming, Freelancing, and Playing Fantasy Countries

Yes, it’s a Wednesday and not a Monday, but we tripped across Intwischa’s links of the week recently and decided we had to share. That and we hit critical mass in the article database. So take a gander, click through, share some traffic, and feel free to let us know if we missed something significant to your RPG interests. Enjoy!

At Home

Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.

Away

Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.

Product Announcements

New products and special events announced this week.

  • Boston Festival of Indie Games: On Saturday September 22, 2012, indie game designers will descend upon MIT for a free festival of tabletop, digital, and LARP games. If you’re in the area, head on down and play some games!

Notes From Abroad

Other interesting articles and cool links.

  • First Play: Conquest of Nerath at KoffeeKlub: Here’s a review of one of the D&D boardgames. Random dungeon treasure and conflict from the very first turn makes this Risk-like game surprisingly replayable.
  • Difficulty Mode at Untimately: Exploring a system for different lethality levels within a single set of rules. Having a lethality dial you can adjust is an interesting idea, allowing for more flexible rules.
  • 15 Minute Work Day at The Iron Tavern: Using the Conan story People of the Black Circle as a model for making dwindling resources part of the fun and challenge of an adventure.
  • Momentum at Critical Hits: One GM’s struggle with self-confidence, anxiety, and getting the creativity flowing.

MetaRoundup

A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!

  • Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in Gaming and This Week in Feminism series of articles on Sundays. Both series are collected under the News category. This Week in Gaming features ways to meet other geek parents, how American soldiers love tabletop games, and safe gaming environments.
  • Intwischa publishes a collection of links for the week every Tuesday. Take a look at Links for the Week of September 18 to find ways to mine game ideas from other media or even real life, the use and overuse of archetypes, and stories about your first GM.

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Nigh-Weekly Assembly: Game Table Psychology and Return of the ’80s Game Companies

Howdy, campers! Apparently the stars are aligned for the return of game companies. Both FASA and West End Games are making rumblings that they’re thinking of re-entering the marketplace.

To which I say, “Cool.” We’ll keep an eye on how those stories unfold. Until then, enjoy the links!

At Home

Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.

Away

Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.

Product Announcements

New products and special events announced this week.

  • FASA Games, Inc. at facebook: FASA is coming back! Here’s a link to their Facbook page, asking you what you liked and didn’t like about old FASA products. Thanks to Sean Patrick Fannon for the signal boost, or I’d've missed it.

Notes From Abroad

Other interesting articles and cool links.

  • Cassini at xkcd: What would happen if the earth’s poles were shifted 90 degrees? Finding the answer and explaining the resulting biosphere changes involves some great food for thought for worldbuilding.
  • The Year of the Game at Kickstarter: Kickstarter has released some stats on the massive increases in funding for game projects. Great graphs declare that it’s the year of the game.
  • Ghosts at Loca Imaginaria: What if the bad guy is far too powerful for the PCs? What if they die and end up inside an artifact with other ghosts and spirits? Cool campaign idea.
  • 90 Minute D&D at Deeper in the Game: Want to strip down D&D to its simplest-running form to run incredibly fast for introducing RPGs to non-gamers? Try this.

MetaRoundup

A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!

  • Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in Gaming and This Week in Feminism series of articles on Sundays. Both series are collected under the News category. This Week in Gaming features an article on transmedia collabrative storytelling, Oregon Trail Live in Oregon (beware of dysentery), and instructional design in RPGs.

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Nigh-Weekly Assembly: Of GenCon and Classic Settings

Here we are once again, sharing two weeks of obsessively gathering gaming links from across the internet. For those of you just waking up from a month-long nap, GenCon happened a week ago. As you may imagine we have a few links in here about that particular event.

If you have something you want announced, by all means pass it on in the comments or in the chat. But for now, enjoy the links!

At Home

Articles posted here on The Gamer Assembly.

Away

Content from people involved with The Gamer Assembly posted elsewhere across the Internet.

Product Announcements

New products and special events announced this week.

  • Operation Jared Tech by Tracy Hurley at Indiegogo: Jared von Hindman writes the Wizards of the Coast column “D&D Outsider” and illustrates games of all stripes by creating unique pieces of art. He’s currently in the hospital and in need of a new laptop and other supplies to let him continue to create his visual art while recuperating.

Notes From Abroad

Other interesting articles and cool links.

  • Another Approach to Races at Untimately: Let’s leave the standard interpretation of elves and dwarves behind and consider them in a new light for OSR games. Bonus: you can play a Beastling if you don’t mind low Int, Wis, and Cha scores.
  • Coordinating a Game Day at Take On Rules: Jeremy searches for horror stories and other advice about running a game day. His list of questions makes me think about running something similar. Can’t wait to read more feedback on this one.
  • Giff Return at Daily Encounter: Rich Green updates the Spelljammer hippo-like race for D&D 4e. Part of the Classics Return Blogfest.
  • Use the PCs’ Actions to Tell a Great Story at Gnome Stew: An elven ranger kills the evil sorceress with an arrow imbued with the power of a child’s tear. That’s an awesome story that never would have happened if the GM didn’t run with the player’s decision to comfort a distraught child.
  • What Is A Game Designer? at Dinofarm Games: Written for computer games, the ideas are applicable to tabletop game designers as well. A designer isn’t just someone with an idea that coerces others to develop products.
  • Shakespeare & Dragons Podcast at Enderra: If you haven’t heard Shakespeare & Dragons, the story-centric world-building podcast by Paul Stark, go devour the archives. Great stuff.
  • Grand Experiments: West Marches at ars ludi: Ben set up a campaign with a stable of 14 players and put all the scheduling and creative control in the hands of those players. Here’s a series of articles on how he did it.
  • Record-breaking Gen Con at ICv2: The attendance figures are still being counted, but Gen Con 2012 was the largest on record for space used and retailers in attendance.
  • Moving Pieces at Some Space to Think: Rob noodles on static vs. dynamic GMing and reactive vs. proactive players and what each combination means for your table’s play style.
  • On How Clerics Really Work at Hack & Slash: What if clerics ONLY get spells while adventuring in service to their god? The healing dynamic in this style of game would look very different than a “standard” high fantasy game.
  • Why Pathfinder Will Remain #1 at Quest For Fun!: A look at the dynamics between D&D and Pathfinder from a marketing standpoint. Unless Wizards redefines the game, D&D Next might not surpass Pathfinder’s sales when it comes out.
  • Improving Player Choices at Gamasutra: Making player choices important and relevant is a game designer’s job. Here’s a treatise that analyzes choices in terms of game design.
  • Level Drain at Untimately: Modifying level drain effects for OD&D, so that 1st level party doesn’t instantly die when confronted with a Wight.

MetaRoundup

A roundup of roundups featuring links of interest to the tabletop RPG community.
Please let us know about other weekly roundups in the comments!

  • Gaming As Women gathers links in their This Week in Gaming and This Week in Feminism series of articles on Sundays. Both series are collected under the News category. This Week in Gaming features a five-minute survey on character design in games. For science!
  • Keith Davies maintains In My Campaign and on Mondays he publishes a collection of Links of the Week including recommended Kickstarter projects and interesting YouTube videos. As mentioned above, the Links of the Week series is on semi-permanent hiatus, so we’ll be dropping this entry from our MetaRoundup section. Do yourself the favor of checking out the archives – each post is packed with wonderful links and insightful commentary.

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